(1844 - 1900)
Thus Spake Zarathustra
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
THUS slowly wandering through
many peoples and divers cities, did Zarathustra return by
round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And behold,
thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great city.
Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang
forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool
whom the people called "the ape of Zarathustra:"
for he had learned from him something of the expression and
modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from
the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the
great city: here hast thou nothing to seek and everything
Why wouldst thou wade through
this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit rather on the gate
of the city, and- turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites'
thoughts: here are great thoughts seethed alive and boiled
Here do all great sentiments
decay: here may only rattle-boned sensations rattle!
Smellest thou not already the
shambles and cookshops of the spirit? Steameth not this city
with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging
like limp dirty rags?- And they make newspapers also out of
Hearest thou not how spirit
hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome verbal swill doth
it vomit forth!- And they make newspapers also out of this
They hound one another, and
know not whither! They inflame one another, and know not why!
They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their gold.
They are cold, and seek warmth
from distilled waters: they are inflamed, and seek coolness
from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through public
All lusts and vices are here
at home; but here there are also the virtuous; there is much
appointable appointed virtue:Much appointable virtue with
scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and waiting-flesh,
blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless daughters.
There is here also much piety,
and much faithful spittle-licking and spittle-backing, before
the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drippeth
the star, and the gracious spittle; for the high, longeth
every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and
the court hath its moon-calves: unto all, however, that cometh
from the court do the mendicant people pray, and all appointable
"I serve, thou servest,
we serve"- so prayeth all appointable virtue to the prince:
that the merited star may at last stick on the slender breast!
But the moon still revolveth
around all that is earthly: so revolveth also the prince around
what is earthliest of all- that, however, is the gold of the
The God of the Hosts of war
is not the God of the golden bar; the prince proposeth, but
the shopman- disposeth!
By all that is luminous and
strong and good in thee, O Zarathustra! Spit on this city
of shopmen and return back!
Here floweth all blood putridly
and tepidly and frothily through all veins: spit on the great
city, which is the great slum where all the scum frotheth
Spit on the city of compressed
souls and slender breasts, of pointed eyes and sticky fingers-On
the city of the obtrusive, the brazen-faced, the pen-demagogues
and tongue-demagogues, the overheated ambitious:Where everything
maimed, ill-famed, lustful, untrustful, over-mellow, sickly-yellow
and seditious, festereth perniciously:-Spit on the great city
and turn back!Here, however, did Zarathustra interrupt the
foaming fool, and shut his mouth.Stop this at once! called
out Zarathustra, long have thy speech and thy species disgusted
Why didst thou live so long
by the swamp, that thou thyself hadst to become a frog and
Floweth there not a tainted,
frothy, swamp-blood in thine own veins, when thou hast thus
learned to croak and revile?
Why wentest thou not into the
forest? Or why didst thou not till the ground? Is the sea
not full of green islands?
I despise thy contempt; and
when thou warnedst me- why didst thou not warn thyself?
Out of love alone shall my
contempt and my warning bird take wing; but not out of the
swamp!They call thee mine ape, thou foaming fool: but I call
thee my grunting-pig,- by thy grunting, thou spoilest even
my praise of folly.
What was it that first made
thee grunt? Because no one sufficiently flattered thee:- therefore
didst thou seat thyself beside this filth, that thou mightest
have cause for much grunting,-That thou mightest have cause
for much vengeance! For vengeance, thou vain fool, is all
thy foaming; I have divined thee well!
But thy fools'-word injureth
me, even when thou art right! And even if Zarathustra's word
were a hundred times justified, thou wouldst ever- do wrong
with my word!
Thus spake Zarathustra. Then
did he look on the great city and sighed, and was long silent.
At last he spake thus:
I loathe also this great city,
and not only this fool. Here and there- there is nothing to
better, nothing to worsen.
Woe to this great city!- And
I would that I already saw the pillar of fire in which it
will be consumed!
For such pillars of fire must
precede the great noontide. But this hath its time and its
own fate.This precept, however, give I unto thee, in parting,
thou fool: Where one can no longer love, there should one-
pass by!Thus spake Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and
the great city.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science